Jennifer Marie Banks was born and raised in the coal mining town of Gillette, Wyoming. Jen’s yoga practice initiated in 2012 as she began graduate school at the University of Wyoming. Jen was working towards making positive change in the midst of a sense of meaninglessness. She knew something had to give and she looked inside. Jennifer began the process of self-healing by using her own body and mind to realize her own value and importance. She began to create her own meaning. She truly believes in the human capacity to heal, grow, and change. Jennifer’s own experience is what spurred her on to obtain both her yoga teaching certification and counseling licensure. The pivotal moment in her practice was when she learned to love herself and all that make up this existence.
Jen believes that humans naturally want to move toward spirituality and heal. She doesn’t provide advice, answers, or secrets that will reveal to anyone something they don’t already know–she believes the individual knows what is best and often times this sense of intuition can be cultivated in physical stretching and breath work. She maintains the most authentic version of herself she knows how, puts up no professional façade, and works to hold space from a genuine place. She uses these principles in yoga, teaching, and meditation and helps to impart techniques for stress relief and self-healing.
Jen has had many experiences and learned from the toughest of those experiences. Through counseling, yoga, and service she felt as if she had been given a second chance and found a new resource in her body. In searching for her own meaning she found a way to help others find meaning through yoga and meditation. She has always taken a positive approach that celebrates the human being, spirit, and mind. Her existential training in her undergraduate years taught her to maintain genuine perceptions of the limitations of the human body and understand that we are all sharing this experience together. She considers human expression to be vital to the change process.
Jen lives in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and teaches in the community where she has created programs and classes to help underserved populations. She specializes in alternative treatment modalities for rural and recovering populations and has created alternatives to yoga delivery outside of a standard yoga studio, including traveling yoga. Her current projects include alternatives to the 12 Step Program, meditation courses guided by the seven spiritual laws of yoga, and vinyasa yoga classes at local community centers.